FALL ARTS PREVIEW: 30 Awesome Shows You Can’t Miss This Season

Lorde performs at the Mann Center on September 5th.

Lorde performs at the Mann Center on September 5th.

1. Lorde
Maybe you’ll see Cecily Tynan there, singing along to “Royals.” The 17-year-old Kiwi is one of her personal faves. Mann Center, September 5th.

Zachary Chiero and Peter Alan Danzig are gay Mummers in Tribe of Fools' "Two Street," part of the FringeArts Festival.

Zachary Chiero and Peter Andrew Danzig are gay Mummers in Tribe of Fools’ “Two Street,” part of the FringeArts Festival.

2. FringeArts
Every year, we wonder if the event previously known as the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival & Philly Fringe is going to lose its mojo. But based on this year’s lineup, which includes everything from an interactive public art installation floating on the Delaware River (WetLand) to Two Street, a gay version of Romeo and Juliet as told through the lens of South Philadelphia and the Mummers to one of the most unusual walking tours you’ll ever join (Experiment #39) and a few dozen other shows, and the fact that the FringeArts venue is now fully open, complete with brasserie, outdoor performance plaza and 240-seat theater, it seems the mojo is stronger than ever. Various locations, September 5th to 21st.

3. Neil Young
Hard to know what to expect when the eccentric and unpredictable rock legend performs at our historic symphony hall, but you’ll surely hear some songs from his latest album, the deeply personal A Letter Home. Academy of Music, October 8th and 9th.

4. MythBusters: Behind the Myths
A live version of the cult-y TV show, with hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman doing some of their favorite experiments in person. Merriam Theater, November 22nd.

5. Bill O’Reilly and Dennis Miller
A.k.a. the night Fox News fanatics invade Upper Darby. Tower Theatre, October 25th.

6. Cirque du Soleil
The Montréal-based troupe performs one of its most popular touring shows, “Varekai.” The woman who does the aerial hoop routine is amazing. Wells Fargo Center, September 10th to 14th.

7. “Disney on Ice: Frozen”
Sadly, Idina won’t be on skates singing “Let It Go.” Still, some little (or not so little) lady in your life will burst out in joy. Wells Fargo Center, December 25th to January 4th.

"Alex da Corte and Jayson Musson: Easternsports" starting September 19th.

“Alex da Corte and Jayson Musson: Easternsports” starting September 19th.

8. “Alex Da Corte and Jayson Musson: Easternsports”
For their first collaboration, the two renowned Philadelphia contemporary artists have developed an in-the-round video installation, described as a “four-channel multilingual soap opera starring the artists.” Probably one that you’ll just have to see to understand. Institute of Contemporary Art, September 19th to December 28th. 

9. Tom Petty
With the Heartbreakers, naturally. Wells Fargo Center, September 15th.

"David Lynch: The Unified Field" starts at PAFA on September 13th.

“David Lynch: The Unified Field” starts at PAFA on September 13th.

10. “David Lynch:  The Unified Field”
Forty-seven years after the filmmaker was a student there, he returns to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts for an exhibit of his drawings and paintings—his first major museum exhibition in this country. PAFA, September 13th to January 11th.

11. “A John Waters Christmas”
Wear your finest Christmas sweater when the master of tastelessness brings his critically acclaimed one-man show to town. Union Transfer, December 17th. 

12. “Body Worlds: Animal Inside Out”
Remember that fascinating and creepy “Body Worlds” exhibit—the one where cross-sections of human bodies and organs were “plastinated”? Well, it’s back … but this time with animals! Franklin Institute, October 4th to April 12th.

13. Postmodern Jukebox
Hear some of your favorite songs reproduced as jazz, swing and ragtime tunes by this Queens ensemble. Their recent covers of Miley Cyrus, Lorde and Guns N’ Roses have a combined 20-million-plus views. TLA, October 26th.

14. The Nutcracker
You sort of have to. Academy of Music, December 6th to 31st.

Works by American realist painter William Glackens will be on display at the Barnes Foundation starting November 8th.

Works by American realist painter William Glackens will be on display at the Barnes Foundation starting November 8th.

15. William Glackens
The Barnes Foundation might not exist if not for William Glackens, the influential American realist painter who helped Albert Barnes acquire many of the most famous works in his collection. The museum presents nearly 70 of his paintings and drawings in his first retrospective in almost 50 years. Barnes Foundation, November 8th to February 2nd.

16. The Sincerity Project
The awesome Team Sunshine Performance Corporation presents its long-in-development play about millennials. There’s a choir, picnicking and some nudity. Weird, good stuff from an up-and-coming force in the local theater scene. FringeArts, December 4th to 14th.

17. La Bête
The biting Molière-inspired comedy, which debuted on Broadway in 1991, stars Scott Greer (Best of Philly Theater Talent 2014) and Dito van Reigersberg (see here), features James Ijames (Best of Philly Theater Talent 2013), and is directed by Emmanuelle Delpech (Best of Philly Theater Talent 2011). So it better be good! Arden Theater, September 11th to October 12th.

Pianist extraordinaire Lang Lang performs with the Philadelphia Orchestra from September 26th to 28th.

Pianist extraordinaire Lang Lang performs with the Philadelphia Orchestra from September 26th to 28th.

18. Philadelphia Orchestra with Lang Lang
For the season opener, maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin has called in flamboyant pianist extraordinaire Lang Lang, one of the most  prominent graduates of the Curtis Institute of MusicKimmel Center, September 26th to 28th.

19. Patti LaBelle
The hometown diva shares the bill with Maze featuring Frankie Beverly. Mann Center, September 7th.

20. Justin Timberlake
His seemingly never-ending 20/20 Experience Tour continues. This will be his third stop here. Wells Fargo Center, December 17th.

21. Rapture, Blister, Burn
If you enjoyed the Wilma’s 2010 hit Becky Shaw, by Gina Gionfriddo, check out the playwright’s new work, about a mother who begins to think about and regret some of the choices she’s made. The New York Times called it “intensely smart” and “immensely funny.” Wilma Theater, October 8th to November 2nd.

22. “Constituting Liberty”
You’re probably familiar with the Bill of Rights (a.k.a. the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution: free speech, bear arms, etc.), but have you ever seen the document? Now you can, along with the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, thanks to the Constitution Center’s exhibit. National Constitution Center, October 30th through October 2017.

Amy Schumer: Not your grandmother's comedy show. (Or your mom's for that matter).

Amy Schumer: Not your grandmother’s comedy show. (Or your mom’s for that matter).

23. Amy Schumer
One of the dirtiest-talking female ­comics out there. Her tour is aptly titled “Inside Amy Schumer’s Backdoor Tour.” Borgata, October 11th.

24. “Paul Strand: Master of Modern Photography”
Almost 250 of the finest prints available from the prolific 20th-century American photographer. Philadelphia Museum of Art, October 21st to January 4th.

25. The Barber of Seville
We know you’ll be tempted to sing along when they get to “Figaro,” but you probably shouldn’t. An Opera Philadelphia production. Academy of Music, September 26th to October 5th.

Fleetwood Mac performs at Wells Fargo Center on October 15th and 29th.

Fleetwood Mac performs at Wells Fargo Center on October 15th and 29th.

26. Fleetwood Mac
Nearly four decades after Rumours. Wells Fargo Center, October 15th and 29th.

27. The Peek-a-Boo Revue Holiday Spectacular
Philadelphia’s premier burlesque troupe gets into the Christmas spirit. World Cafe Live, December 14th.

28. This Is the Week That Is
1812 Productions’ hilarious and always changing political comedy—based on current events—is now in its ninth year. Expect to laugh. A lot. Plays & Players Theatre, November 28th to December 31st.

29. Tony Bennett
His duets album with Lady Gaga is about to be released. Who knows? Maybe she’ll make a cameo. Borgata, November 28th.

30. Rachael Yamagata
On the 10th anniversary of Happenstance, she’ll be playing the album in its entirety. But you’ll have to find tickets on Craigslist or StubHub, because this show sold out a long, long time ago. Boot & Saddle, November 14th.